Bedrooms Entertaining Room Inspiration

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

When overnight guests arrive at your home, expected or unexpected, it can send even the most seasoned host into a panic. Remembering to set out everything they might need can be a daunting process! That’s why we’ve gathered the best tried-and-true tips to make your visitors feel completely at home in your guest room.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

1) Add a bench at the foot of the bed or purchase a folding luggage stand

Your guests will appreciate a nice surface to put their suitcase on so they don’t have to rummage through it on the floor.

2) Have some entertainment available

As your guests are winding down for the night, they may want to read or watch their favorite show for a while. Having some books, magazines and/or a TV in their room is a great way to make them feel at home. Another nice gesture is to put the Wifi password somewhere visible – maybe in a frame on the dresser?

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

3) Create a seating area

If space allows, add a little reading nook in the guest room. Many guests will like having place to sit that’s not the bed.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

4) Include a mirror

Give your guests a spot to freshen up with an eye-level mirror or sit-down vanity. This will keep them from feeling like they’re hogging the bathroom.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

5) Keep an assortment of extra pillows on hand

It doesn’t have to be a lot – maybe 2 traditional polyester fill and 2 down pillows to give your guests a choice of loft.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

6) …And extra blankets of varying thickness

If your guests wake up cold in the middle of the night, they’ll be infinitely grateful!

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

7) Provide a place to hang up clothes

If there’s a closet in the guest room, have some empty clothes hangers available. If not, a valet or clothing rack will work perfectly.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

8) Deck out the nightstand

Some good items to include are: a little dish to hold jewelry, a couple of glasses for water, a lamp, remote controls, and an alarm clock.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

9) Bring in some fresh flowers

There’s nothing like real greenery to make friends feel welcome! (But you may want to stick with a non-flowering plant or omit this step altogether if your guests have allergies.)

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

10) Put together a basket of travel-sized toiletries

In case one of your guests forgets something like their toothbrush or shampoo, it’s good to have some available. (Don’t forget extra towels, Kleenex, and pain reliever.)

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

11) Put an iron or steamer in the closet

Your guests’ clothes may get wrinkled in-transit, so take a cue from hotels and put out a small iron or steamer for them to use. If you have pets in your house, it’s nice to include a lint roller as well.

12 Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

12) Have some available plugs for charging

An easily accessible place to charge electronic devices will be much appreciated by weary travelers! If you want to go the extra mile, purchase a universal charger in case they forget their charging cords.

We hope you found these tips helpful! If you’re looking for more guest room design ideas, we’ve complied our favorites on Pinterest:

Design Inspiration Living Rooms Room Inspiration

The Anatomy of a Knockout Living Room

When you see it, you know.

The Anatomy of a Knockout Living Room

So, you’ve just bought a new property using a short term loan used to ‘bridge the gap’ and now you want to decorate it beautifully. Sometimes a well-designed living room will stop you in your tracks. It’s balanced, cohesive, not too loud, not too subdued… just right. But what makes it so great? A certain unattainable je ne sais quoi? Nope! Just some design know-how that we’re about to share with you.

The Anatomy of a Knockout Living Room

Here’s an example of a living room that has lots of functionality and personality. Now, let’s turn this image into a design roadmap you can reference whenever you need some layout inspiration!

The Anatomy of a Knockout Living RoomA) SIDE TABLES can be used to “bookend” your sofa/sectional (as shown above) or to simply provide more storage surface for your family. They’re especially great when guests come over if they’re seated someplace that’s out of reach from the coffee table.

B) Coordinating THROW PILLOWS in various sizes and shapes will make your sofa look cozy and put-together. If you’re having trouble figuring out what patterns and colors work as a group, we found an extremely helpful guide. (Thanks for demystifying the process, Shannon!)

C) If you already have a lot of patterns and visual interest in your room, go simpler with your RUG (and vice versa). Check out sites like for more inspiration. Another way to add texture is to layer two rugs like the example above. Need help with rug sizing and placement? Fixer Upper‘s Joanna Gaines created this handy guide.

D) A COFFEE TABLE or large ottoman will help anchor the space and be a perfect spot for decor, food and drink, or to put your feet up after a long day. Try a more unexpected piece like the leather-topped coffee table above, or a vintage trunk with hidden storage.

E) A great way to keep your living room as versatile as possible is to go for a neutral color on bigger purchases like your SOFA or SECTIONAL. Then you can switch out decor and accessories as the seasons change without worrying about the larger pieces clashing.

F) ACCENT CHAIRS provide additional seating and can tie in with colors you’ve used elsewhere in your room. We love the simple plaid pattern in the example above.

G) MIRRORS have a knack for making a room look larger. They also look beautiful and reflect light throughout the space. What’s not to love?

H) Flowy CURTAINS that provide privacy but still let in natural light will make your living room look magazine-worthy.

I) The sun can’t do all the work, so make sure to include some pretty LAMPS and overhead lighting to pick up the slack.

J) A good ACCENT WALL can tie a whole room together. We love the distressed, rustic look above, but there are lots of other directions to go: Shiplap, brick, stone, paint, patterned wallpaper, etc.

K) PLANTS, real or faux, add a sense of life to a space. In rooms with subdued color palettes, that pop of greenery makes a world of difference.

L) All those walls can seem bare without some ARTWORK to adorn them! Whether you opt for black and white like the above example or choose vibrant color, experiment with placement until you find an arrangement you love. You could also go to some acrylic prints experts to get some personalized photo prints to add some heart to the room.

M) Your WALL COLOR sets the tone for the rest of the room’s design. Lighter colors tend to make a room look bigger and more open, and darker colors make it feel more cozy. In our example, the dark main wall color and light accent wall give us the best of both worlds!

N) Matching METALLIC ELEMENTS throughout the room can make your design extra luxe. In the example, you can spot several gold accents.

O) OPEN SHELVING will provide additional storage and give you more space to display your treasures. Here’s a wonderful guide on how to style open shelves and vignettes throughout your home. (Thanks for all the helpful tips, Lauren!)

The Anatomy of a Knockout Living Room

Ready to tackle your own space? You’ve got this!

If you want even more inspiration, check out the Living Rooms board on our Pinterest page. We’re always on the hunt for great home decor ideas so we can share them with you.

Living Rooms New Products Room Inspiration

Rachael Ray Home: The Upholstered Pieces

Hello again, Rachael Ray fans! This is the third post in our new four-part preview series. Are you a big interior designer fan? Are you always browsing Easy Home Concepts for the best sleeper ottoman that would add some flair to your room? Well, if you’re missing a centerpiece then get ready for the cozy comfort of upholstered sofas, sectionals, benches, chairs and more!


So many of us have loved watching Rachael Ray over the years on Food Network shows like 30 Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Tasty Travels, Inside Dish, and more. She has her own daytime talk show, cookware line, magazine, pet food company, cookbooks… the list goes on. But now, Rachael can add “furniture designer” to her lengthy resume.


There’s a feeling that happens when family and friends gather around a table to share a meal and conversation, and Rachael Ray Home brings this warmth and joy to every room.


Her line is divided into 3 collections: Upstate, Soho, and Highline – and since there were so many upholstered items in each, we separated and compiled them into this post.


Rachael Ray Home is now on the showroom floor at both our Memphis and Southaven locations! Most of the upholstered pieces aren’t available to purchase online just yet, BUT you can visit one of our Home Stores to purchase or order. (And that goes for anything in the entire catalog. If you want it, we can order it for you! This line is so large, we just weren’t able to carry everything in-stock.)


We’ve listed the pieces we know for sure will be in these lines, but more colors and styles may be introduced later. We’ll keep you posted!


Click below to get a FREE copy of our Rachael Ray Home e-catalog! It features 206 pages of gorgeous room shots and furniture photos – plus, the items are clickable for shopping info.













































Let us know in the comments which pieces you’re most interested in! Once each post is published, the rest of the series will be linked below:

Rachael Ray Home Preview Series:

Upstate Collection
Highline Collection
Soho Collection
Upholstered Pieces (you are here)

You can also check out our Rachael Ray Pinterest board to browse some of the room shots:


Bedrooms Design Inspiration Room Inspiration

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing

Kids’ rooms can be tough to design! You want to create a space that reflects your child’s unique personality, but still looks pulled together and cohesive with the rest of your home. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing all our best tips for putting together a child’s room that will easily transition to their teen years. We’re covering everything from functionality to aesthetic. You might decide that after designing your kids room, that there are other parts of your house that you would like to update. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a bit of a change. You can do small changes to the rest of your house like just getting a new coat of paint, or you could go all out and get new windows from somewhere like Window World Hawaii – the decision is up to you though!

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Each tip is accompanied by an inspiration photo, which you can enlarge by clicking on it (or save as a Pinterest pin by hovering over the image and clicking the red logo). If you see a piece you’re interested in, just contact us about Bassett custom ordering.

1) Keep storage as low to the floor as possible for smaller kids

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Most kids don’t like having to keep their rooms clean, but if you make it as easy as possible for them to stay organized, there may be a fighting chance! Storage cubes, baskets, and shelves can be strategically placed within their reach for simple cleanup. In the example above, a storage station was placed at the foot of the bed to hold books that otherwise may have been scattered on the floor. If you find there is just too much stuff in the house to fit in, you could look into something like Singpaore storage space to keep larger items in storage until you need them or have more room for them.

2) Stick to two main colors

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

It’s easy to go crazy with lots of bright colors, but if you’re after a more cohesive look, try sticking to two main colors for all of the substantial elements in the room. Even if the two colors your child picks are loud, neutrals can be added in to soften the look. In the example above, the pink and green color palette is balanced with a creamy white.

3) Incorporate flowers and other plants (real or faux)

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Plants infuse so much life into a space. You can add a potted plant that your child will take responsibility for watering, or just display cut flowers from the yard. We also love realistic-looking faux options. They’re especially great for kids with allergies!

4) Use chalkboard paint

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Wall art can change on a daily basis when you use chalkboard paint. It comes in every color under the sun, and the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Children love to draw pictures on it, and teens can use it to write quotes, doodle, and display notes from friends who come over.

5) Coordinate arrays of pillows

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

A coordinated array of throw pillows not only looks great, but adds comfort and texture to a bed. They can even provide extra seating for friends.

Above, we’ve shown some examples of how to pair up different sizes and colors. A good rule of thumb is to use larger neutral pillows (like Euro shams) in the back, then place smaller, more colorful pillows in the front. A variety of shapes will add interest, so don’t be afraid to mix squares, rectangles, bolster pillows, etc.

6) Display artwork

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Giving your child a spot to display their art can encourage creativity, and there are so many ways to do so with style. In the example above, coordinating artwork is hung up on the wall with colorful washi tape.

Want other ideas? Try hanging string wire wall-to-wall and use small clothes pins to display the art. You could also go the more traditional route and make an art board out of galvanized metal with magnets for hanging, or cork board with pushpins for hanging.

7) Build off of a theme that can grow with them

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

One one hand, you want your child to express their individuality, but on the other hand, it’s not always feasible to do a full room makeover every time their fleeting tastes change. (Adolescence was a confusing, wish-washy time – we all remember!)

The key is to lay out a foundation of good design choices in a fun, whimsical way. There are a lot more home design styles than you may think so you will have plenty of choices! Let your child express his or her individuality through things like accessories, wall art, decor knickknacks, and other items that are easier to switch out. That way, moving into teen years and beyond doesn’t require a major overhaul.

We’re absolutely in LOVE with the room design above. The aviation theme is carried out in such a tasteful way, it’ll be a seamless transition from “child’s room” to “teen’s room.”

8) Don’t feel confined to “matchy-matchy”

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

You don’t need to purchase all of your child’s bedroom furniture from one set or collection for it to look cohesive. Try mixing and matching within your color scheme for a fun yet polished feel. Above, the beds have a dark wood stained finish, but the large nightstand in the middle is painted red (which ties into the throw blankets and pillows).

9) Make a feature wall for the more bold decor choices

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

If your child has their heart set on a bold wall color or mural that you’re not so comfortable with, a good compromise is to incorporate it on a feature wall. That way when your child grows out of the design choice or you reclaim the room once they move out, it’ll take less time and effort to paint over.

10) Put up garlands and paper lanterns for added whimsy

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

This is such a fun, inexpensive way to brighten up your child’s space. We love the use of the flower garlands and paper lanterns above. They add visual interest and texture to the space while still coordinating beautifully with the color scheme.

11) Create a seating area

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

If space allows, try adding a seating area to your child’s room. It can serve as a reading nook or place to watch TV and play games. We love how the “TV stand” above is doubling as additional storage for board games and puzzles.

12) Display jewelry and collections as decor

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

If your child or teen collects something, try figuring out a creative, yet stylish way to display it. In the room above, jewelry is hung on the branches of a decorative white tree instead of being shut away in a box.

13) Create a homework zone

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Try creating a designated homework station where the kids can store laptops, books, and everything they need to succeed. In the example above, the desk also provides lots of additional storage space – definitely a win-win for function and small space utilization!

14) Use hidden storage

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

For not-so-stylish items that you don’t want prominently displayed, try using clever hidden storage. We love a drawer nightstand or large ottoman at the foot of the bed – and definitely take advantage of under-bed and closet storage!

15) Use coordinating blankets and rugs for added warmth

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Even if your child’s room is carpeted, adding an area rug gives the room a more cozy feel. It’s also an opportunity to tie in your main colors with the bedding.

16) Add a reading lamp

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

A bedside lamp is perfect for reading and general ambiance. They’re also wonderful if your child needs to get up in the middle of the night without tripping!

17) Use bunk beds for space-saving

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Bunk beds are fantastic if you have more than one child sharing a room, or if your kids like to host sleepovers often.

18) Go neutral, but add texture

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS BlogNeutral spaces can pack a punch too! All it takes is a variety of textures and patterns to add visual interest. Mix soft and fluffy blankets with a wooden nightstand and patterned ottoman – again, the sky’s the limit.

And there you have it! Eighteen ways to create a meaningful, harmonious space for your child that makes sense in your home. We hope you found these tips helpful. If you want even more inspiration, be sure to check out our Kids’ Rooms Pinterest board:

Bedrooms Design Inspiration Dining Rooms Living Rooms New Products Room Inspiration

Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines: A Sneak Peek

We’re so excited to announce that The Great American Home Store was chosen to be the Mid-South retailer of Magnolia Home Furnishings (which is the furniture line created by Joanna Gaines). Soon we’ll be able to incorporate Joanna’s enviable style into our homes – even though we don’t live anywhere near Waco, TX. 👍

We’ll be creating separate posts about each style collection in the coming weeks. Intrigued?! Read on to learn more!

Magnolia Home Room View

All of us here at GAHS have been preparing for this launch for many months, so we couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s almost time to debut it. We’ve even expanded our showroom floor space to give this line the display it deserves.

Click below to get a FREE copy of our exclusive Magnolia Home e-catalog! It features 101 pages of gorgeous room shots, and each item is clickable for shopping info. 

Mockup of Magnolia Home E-Mag with open book_web 3


UPDATE 7/26/16: Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines is now on the showroom floor at both our Memphis and Southaven locations! Everything we’re carrying at our stores is also available to be purchased ONLINE and can be delivered within a 200-mile radius of us. If the piece you’re interested in doesn’t have an “Add to Cart” button, that means it’s not currently available to be purchased online, BUT you can visit one of our Home Stores to order it. (And that goes for anything in the entire catalog. If you want it, we can order it for you! We just weren’t able to carry everything in stock because this line is so large.)

Magnolia Home Living Room

Since we’re getting close to the release day this Spring, we thought we’d start a series to give our blog readers a sneak peek at the Magnolia Home pieces. We’ll dedicate a post to each group of items, so make sure to keep checking back.

To kick off this series, we’re going to give you a basic rundown of the different collections and inspiration behind the line. It’s surprisingly diverse style-wise, so you’re sure to find something you love!

Magnolia Home Collections

The line is divided into specific genres: Industrial, Primitive, French Inspired, Traditional, Boho, and Farmhouse. Upholstered living room furniture, accessories, and elements are also included.

Magnolia Home Color Palette

Magnolia Home’s color palette is mostly neutral and cool-toned, true to Joanna’s style. It’s refreshing yet calming to come home to.

Magnolia Home Finishes

Many of the pieces are inspired by Joanna’s antiquing finds, so you can get the same look without the frustration of the hunt. Everything is crafted to add charm and character to your home.

Magnolia Home Dining

Home is the most important place. My passion is to help people create beautiful and meaningful spaces in their home…This isn’t about designing furniture, this is about creating timeless pieces that help tell your home story. 

– Joanna Gaines on the Magnolia Home project

Magnolia Home Bedroom

Which collection are YOU most excited for? Let us know in the comments! Also remember to keep tabs on our future posts, where we’ll be taking an even closer look at this line’s individual collections. You can sign up below to receive an email when we post something new. In the meantime, our Magnolia Home Pinterest board features lots of the room settings for you to browse and re-pin.


Magnolia Home Preview Series:
Overall Sneak Peek
Upholstered Living Room
Elements & Accessories: Part One
Elements & Accessories: Part Two

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of White Furniture

White furniture lovers have heard it all before: “You’ll regret that light sofa! It’ll show every piece of dirt, every hair, every crumb!” “You can’t have white furniture if you have kids or pets!” “The stains will never come out!”

white furniture

Yes, white furniture (or off-white, beige, cream, etc.) is a little more high maintenance than say, a patterned sofa in a darker shade. But there are ways to add the fresh, light-colored pieces you’ve been seeing everywhere into your own home – without driving yourself crazy! Now, if you do end up getting any dirt or stains on your white furniture, you’re probably going to need to use some couch cleaning tips and tricks to help you get your couch back to full health. Or, you may consider buying an upholstery steam cleaner for you sofa’s to get rid of those nasty stains, so your white furniture can stay looking fresh forever! Finally, you can get that white furniture you’ve been eyeing on that furniture site similar to WAYSIDEFURNITUREHOUSE.COM without having to worry that your money will go down the drain due to a little stain.

white furniture

Our Tips for Making White Furniture Work:

1) Choose a piece that’s upholstered with something stain-resistant like Revolution Fabrics, which is 100% Olefin fiber. We love this option because unlike other fabrics that rely on a chemical coating to be stain-resistant, Revolution Fabrics are chemical and PFC-free. Olefin fiber even won its creators a Nobel Prize for being inherently antimicrobial and stain/fade-resistant on its own. Most spills wipe off of it with just water! We could honestly go on and on, so if you’re interested in Revolution Fabrics, you can watch these demonstration videos. We also carry furniture upholstered in this fabric in our Home Stores.

white furniture

2) If you’re dealing with standard fabrics such as cotton or polyester, try using a small, portable carpet cleaner to get tough stains off of areas like the armrests. First you spray the diluted cleaning solution and then the machine uses suction to lift off the stain. When you’re done cleaning, just dump out the dirty water chamber (it’s basically like a smaller version of the RugDoctor).white furniture

3) Putting lots of pillows with removable, washable covers on your white sofa is advisable. They can take the brunt of the wear and tear, and are more easily switched out. The same goes for placing a throw blanket over the sofa if you’re about to have company. Some people may be hesitant to sit on your white furniture for fear of messing it up, so in these cases, it’s better to just put their minds at ease. Choose a blanket that’s machine washable.

white furniture

4) You can also rotate your sofa’s cushions if one side seems to get sat on more than the other. Make it a habit to move all the cushions to a different place on the sofa every couple of months.

white furniture

Really, there’s a lot to love about light furniture. It will likely be the cleanest furniture in your entire house since you can see dirt and debris more easily. (Think about it – there may be stuff on your darker furniture that you don’t even know is there!) We also love the look. There’s just something about it that’s pleasing to the eye, and being a neutral, white goes with nearly every color scheme and decor type.

So ignore those naysayers! If you love white furniture, you know that the pros outweigh the cons. Stains don’t stand a chance.

If you found this post helpful, make sure to share on any of the social media channels below!

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How to Completely Revamp Your Home – Month by Month!

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Ah, January… the beginning of a new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.

This is when most of us start thinking about resolutions and ways we’d like to improve various aspects of ourselves. So why not apply this philosophy to our environment too?

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

A beautiful house is practically therapeutic to come home to after a long day, but we know it’s difficult to find the time or funds to bring your visions to life. That’s where a little bit of broad planning comes into play. Multi-room undertakings work best if you space out your projects, so here’s an example of a year-long revamp delegation:

Revamp Your Home Month by Month
Click picture to open printable PDF

Of course, these are just suggestions. If you know that your roof needs some repairing then you’ll want to improve your curb appeal earlier in the year so you can get the austin roofing contractors at the same time as the landscapers to make everything easier to manage. Omit rooms you don’t have, customize the projects to fit your home’s needs, cut the projects down to bimonthly, change the order around… the sky’s the limit, and it’s really all up to you! The main idea here is to break up a year’s worth of design projects into manageable time frames and individual budgets. You may find, for example, that you can actually afford that dream kitchen you’ve been thinking about for years, or that you can get a bespoke walk-in shower done for less than you thought, complete with frameless shower doors for that effortless feel. Once you have your basic budgets in place then you can start fine-tuning your design plan.

Revamp Your Home Month by Month
The GAHS Room Planner tool offers a bird’s eye perspective of your space’s layout

If you watch home makeover shows on TV, you know that one of the first things the designer does is draw up a scaled “aerial view” of the room. Knowing the exact amount of space you’re working with is crucial when selecting new pieces to add. You may find a coffee table you love, but if you don’t pay attention to the dimensions, you run the risk of it not fitting properly. We recommend taking advantage of our Room Planner tool. It allows you to create an online blueprint so you can arrange and rearrange furniture to your heart’s content! When it’s finished, you can share it with friends digitally or print it to take shopping with you.

Revamp Your Home Month by Month
A room being designed on
Revamp Your Home Month by Month
A 3D rendered snapshot of the above design

Another amazing tool we want to share is, and more specifically their 3D Roomplanner. This is a free service that lets you create your own interior designs with almost complete freedom. Their virtual library contains over 120,000 items, so you’re sure to find things that look similar to your existing decor – plus get ideas for new purchases you’d like to make in the future. When you’re finished designing, you can arrange a little blue “camera” (see above) to take a 3D rendered snapshot of the space.

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Another great way to plan for your home revamp is to create a Pinterest board of inspiration. Having an overall vision in mind and a centralized place to compile your ideas will make sporadic shopping simple. (Get a load of that alliteration! ?) Just browse over time instead of visiting a couple stores and spending lots of money all at once. The decorating process is infinitely easier on your wallet – and more fun – if you give yourself the opportunity to happen upon things. You may find the perfect pieces in the most unexpected places!

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Quick Tip: If you find an item on the GAHS website that you’d like to add to your Pinterest, just hover your mouse over the product photo. Pretty easy!

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Share this post on social media if you found it helpful – maybe you can help a friend who made sprucing up their space a New Year’s resolution! You can also check out the GAHS Pinterest boards to steal some design inspiration for your 2016 home makeover.

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How to Sleep Like You’re in a Luxury Hotel (at Home!)

hotel-601327_1920We’ve all been there – you’re going through life as usual, thinking you’re getting “good enough” sleep in a bed that’s “pretty comfortable”… And then it hits you: BED ENVY. You could be anywhere when it strikes – on vacation with family, a weekend getaway with friends, a business trip, even house-sitting. All it requires is you spending the night on a spectacular bed that isn’t your own. You get under the covers and before you know it, you’re drifting off to sleep like you’re floating on a cloud. The next morning, you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and determined to recreate this experience in your own home.

If you’ve tried and just can’t make it happen, we’re here to help. You may be missing a key element to getting that next-level “vacation sleep” you’re after.

products-serta-color-iseries vantage_400081txl-b0

The very first piece of the puzzle is the right mattress. If you’ve had yours a long time, you could likely benefit from a replacement, especially if you’re waking up with an achy or stiff back. If you’re having back troubles, Sleepy Cat Plus is the orthopedics choice of mattress for back pain so check it out! A good tip is to try out all the different options to see what you like best – mainly because you might discover you need to go in a direction you hadn’t previously considered. For example, many people think they need to go after the softest mattress available, but if you sink into your bed too much, your spine won’t stay aligned properly throughout the night. It’s all about personal preference, so choose what’s comfortable to YOU, whether it’s innerspring, memory foam, an airbed, etc. Just make sure to top it off with a mattress protector to shield your investment from liquids, dust mites, and dirt (and most importantly to protect your warranty)!

Another source of back pain may be that you’re too cramped. If your bedroom’s size allows, you may want to upgrade to larger mattresses this go-around, especially if you sleep with a partner. That way you’ll feel free to take up more room and likely stay comfortable for longer.

Nevertheless, having back pain is just going to make it even more difficult for you to get to sleep. Reducing this back pain is another vital aspect of you getting a good night’s sleep. Luckily things like CBD oil can reduce the sensation of pain and ensure you regain a great sleeping pattern. You can learn more here about CBD oil if this is an option you want to look into.

If getting a new mattress isn’t in the cards for you right now or you have a decent mattress that just isn’t as soft as you’d like, mattress toppers can make a difference. Standard egg crate or memory foam work well, and if you’re worried about trapping heat, choose one infused with cooling gel. You could even go luxurious and try a down featherbed, but you’ll probably want to put a pillowtop mattress pad over it (which is essentially a mattress protector with a small layer of cushion built in). This not only adds further protection from the “elements” and keeps the topper from sliding around as much, but also prevents you from being poked by any feather quills.


If you wake with neck pain, your pillow may be the culprit. There are lots of different types of pillows on the market at every price point, so start by choosing one that’s designed for your sleep style – many pillows are tailor-made for the needs of back, stomach, and side sleepers. From there, just experiment. Again, it’s down to personal preference. Some people have decided to make use of the best acupuncture near me to reduce neck pain and it has worked for some people. But I digress.

Here are some different fill types:

  • Synthetic or down alternative- Usually the most inexpensive option and good for those who have allergies. Synthetic fibers such as polyester are used to create a plush filling, and the result is a crowd pleasing, easy-to-clean pillow. However, synthetics tend to break down faster than other fill varieties and may go flat without regular fluffing.
  • Feather or down- More expensive and may not be ideal for allergy sufferers. They are extremely soft, durable pillows you won’t need to replace as often, but you may get poked by feather quills occasionally. They’re much more suited for back and stomach sleepers since they tend to flatten when you rest your head on them. (Side sleepers may find that feather/down doesn’t offer enough support.)
  • Memory foam- Good for those who want neck pain relief and support. They come in contoured or standard varieties, and they’re normally quite durable and heavy. Memory foam can be pricey depending on the brand, and it’s not very easy to clean.
  • Microbead or buckwheat- Again, good for support and neck/shoulder pain relief. Microbeads are made of polystyrene (think beanbag filling), and buckwheat pillows are stuffed with hulls (the husks that protect the buckwheat’s kernel). Some may find these pillows to be noisy or too firm.


Also keep in mind that hotels switch out their pillows every six to eight months, so that may be why their pillows seem fluffier or “better” than your own. Experts recommend not hanging on to your pillow any longer than about two years because over time, pillows collect a buildup of body oils, sweat, dead skin, dust mites and their waste… lovely, right?! While regular cleaning keeps this at bay, the filling inside eventually breaks down. (Admittedly, its nightly job supporting the weight of our heads is hard work.)

Washing and drying your pillows every three to six months is key to maintaining the loft and getting rid of all the aforementioned yucky buildup – if your pillows are washable, of course! Just follow the care instructions on the tag, and if you’re using a top-loader, make sure to wash two pillows at a time so the load will be balanced. We recommend doing an extra rinse cycle followed by an extra spin cycle, just to be sure you’re getting rid of all the soap and excess water. Before you put your pillows in the dryer, throw in some dryer balls or make a DIY version by putting tennis balls into socks. This will ensure that the filling stays evenly distributed and doesn’t bunch up. (If you’re using the tennis ball method, covering each one with a sock is important because it prevents the bright yellow dye and odor from transferring to your pillows. Tie a knot at the end of the sock to keep the tennis ball from escaping.) The result? Fluffy, lofty pillows!


Once you have your bed at its optimum comfort level, it’s time to dress it up with sheets, a comforter, shams and throw pillows. White is a great choice because of its clean, tranquil feel, and it’s surprisingly easy to maintain its brightness if you wash with a little bleach or Oxi-Clean. But if that’s too minimalistic for your taste, go with something that makes you feel relaxed. Some colors that are considered stress-reducing are lavender, light gray, cool blue, aqua, dusty/baby pink, beige, and pale green.

When it comes to sheets, you don’t necessarily have to go with the highest thread count – sometimes this can lead to a more fragile sheet because of the thinner threads used. 400600 is a good “sweet spot” between durability and comfort. We do, however, recommend sheets made of breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or bamboo. Polyester may not wrinkle, but you’ll likely find that it traps too much heat.

Here’s a general tip: Most people sleep best in a cool, dark room. Try moving any electronics that give off light and then set your thermostat to around 67 degrees. (75 or above will usually disrupt sleep if you are under a comforter or duvet.)

As you can tell, we believe in a good night’s sleep. Feeling comfortable and relaxed throughout the night leads to feeling revitalized and fresh in the morning. And we could all use a little more of that, right? Especially on Mondays.

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Feel free to share this post on your social media if you found it helpful. You might help a friend get a good night’s sleep too!

You can also visit one of our Great American Sleep Shop locations to test out all the different mattress types and firmness levels. One of our sleep experts can help you create a “luxury hotel bed” for your own home.

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Make Your Living Room Better with Leather

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Sweater weather simply calls for leather. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There isn’t another material that can match leather’s style, timelessness, and durability, which is why it’s a staple in so many homes. But this post is not just an ode to our favorite upholstery – it’ll also include some tips and tricks to make the most of the leather pieces in your space, and how to properly maintain your leather. We’ll even cover more unexpected ways to incorporate leather into your decor. So, for the love of leather, let’s begin!



No matter your home’s color scheme or aesthetic, there’s a leather for you. A plethora of tones and finishes exist on the market, so your choice depends on whatever vibe you’re looking for. For example, you could select a tight-back, black leather sofa for a sleek, sophisticated look. Go the route of richness and warmth with a cushion-back, camel-colored armchair in a weathered “bomber jacket” finish. You could even kick up the pizzazz with a tufted chaise in a bright shade of dyed leather, such as red or green. Regardless of which direction you go, we suggest choosing something classic that you won’t get tired of anytime soon. Some versatile shades we love are cognac, caramel, dark chocolate, tan, taupe, and gray.

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Recliners are undoubtedly comfortable, and there’s a reason why these functional pieces are so popular in leather – added polish! We also love reclining sectionals and motion sofas. They knock out the need for additional furniture and save you space. Upgrading to a power-assisted option will even allow you to relax at the touch of a button! If you’re wanting to get a reclining sofa for your living room, go to a reclining sofa shop washington to find the best one for you. They’ll have plenty of options for you to try!



If the leather is especially dark, you may find that your room feels too weighed down by your furniture. This can be remedied by creating an interesting contrast. Paint the walls a light hue and start adding accents like end tables, rugs, throw pillows, and blankets in paler colors. This gives the space an airier feel. Another solution is to not overdo matching furniture in one room. If you have a three-piece set of brown leather furniture, keep the couch in the living room and move the loveseat and chair to different rooms in the house.



Sofas and chairs aren’t the only ways to deck out your living room with leather. Here are some other pieces to consider:

  • Leather-topped table
  • Leather ottoman
  • Leather barstools
  • Leather-trimmed mirror or picture frame
  • Leather-bound books on shelves or coffee table
  • Cowhide rug
  • Leather-woven storage basket
  • Leather throw pillows



You may be wondering why you should spend more on genuine leather when there are faux alternatives with a similar look. Here are some reasons why it’s worth it to invest in the real deal:

  • Every piece of leather is one of a kind with its own character.
  • Faux leather is thinner and doesn’t offer as much warmth.
  • Leather gets softer with age and starts looking even more gorgeous. Faux leather tends to peel and flake off over time.
  • Faux leather is not as substantial – it has about 1/3 of real leather’s lifespan.

And here’s a handy guide to differentiate between the two:

  • First and foremost, check the label. “Genuine leather” should be prominently stated. If you see phrases like “man-made materials,” it’s probably vinyl.
  • Get up close and personal with the leather in question. Natural leather has pores in inconsistent patterns, while faux leather will have imitation pores in perfect rows.
  • Try smelling the furniture. Real leather has a distinct smell, while fake leather will smell more like rubber, plastic, or nothing.
  • If you can see the edges, check if they’re too perfect looking or feel foamy. Genuine leather will literally look “rough around the edges.”



Leather has longevity on it side. It may be a more expensive option than regular fabrics, but it’s an investment you’ll have for years to come if you take care of it. Your leather furniture should come with care instructions from the manufacturer, so it’s advisable to stick to these recommendations to keep the piece looking its best.

Don’t worry too much about messes along the way. Nothing beats the ease of wiping spills off of leather – not even tossing a slipcover in the wash. Even purchasing something like a second-hand sofa through sites like Shoppok would require you to give it a clean. Experts recommend using a cotton cloth or natural sponge with distilled water, if possible. Use light, dabbing motions to pick up the offending stain. To banish any solid debris you come across, try using your vacuum’s nozzle attachment. If the leather suffers some scratches (pets, kids… we’re looking at you!), use an aerosol colorant spray designed especially for leather. Just spray on a matching color, follow up with a sealant, and most importantly: wait for your furniture to dry before sitting on it again. Trust us, that’s a mistake you’ll only make once!



What’s your favorite way to decorate with leather? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’ve been left craving some new leather pieces for your home, be sure to check out all the beautiful options at The Great American Home Store.

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12 Ways to Make Your Home Irresistibly Inviting: Holiday Edition

As we move deeper into fall, the air gets chillier, the days get shorter, and we come to the sudden realization that a gauntlet of holidays will soon be upon us. Holiday parties are a part of the fun, and if you’re planning on hosting any get-togethers at your home, you may be wondering how to spruce up your space in preparation. Depending on how much lead-time you have, try following some of these tips to make your home feel more inviting.


Your dining area will likely be the main focus for a holiday gathering. If you’ve been meaning to update the space anyway, this is a great excuse for a mini-makeover.

1) Mismatched chairs definitely aren’t a bad thing, but if you want them to look uniform, try slipcovering them for a shabby-chic vibe. (This is also a good tip if your chairs have just seen better days.) Chair covers are often available for rent at party supply shops, or for purchase at most big-box stores.

2) Large mirrors add opulence and make a space look bigger. Try to find one with a prominent frame. If you have a garage sale or flea market find that isn’t quite right, you can give it a whole new look by spray painting the frame gold or some other metallic shade that coordinates with your décor.

3) Take advantage of your chandelier! We love statement lighting over the dining room table. Update an older fixture with new lampshades or crystals.

4) Create a beautiful centerpiece using candles, fresh flowers, ornaments, or whatever you’d like. This gives your table setting a “wow” factor that your guests will notice.

5) Use ornate china as additional décor and display it on an open hutch or floating shelf. When you’re about to serve a meal, just take them down and give them a quick wash. If you’re expecting a large group, another option is to rent china, glasses, napkins, and silverware from your local party rental company. This saves you from having to purchase any new place settings just for the holidays.

6) If you want to make your home smell amazing as your guests are arriving, simmer any combination of sliced fruit, spices, and essential oils like Lemon Oil for Rouh
with purified water in a pot on the stove. For in an invigorating scent, try purified water, sliced lemons, peppermint and ylang ylang essential oils, and a few rosemary sprigs. Our favorite combination for this time of year includes purified water, sliced apples and grapefruit, orange essential oil, and some cinnamon sticks. Just remember to treat the concoction like a burning candle in that it shouldn’t be left completely unattended.


The living room is where your guests will convene after a meal to socialize, so it never hurts to take this space to the next level when you’re expecting company.

7) Festive throw pillows are relatively inexpensive and will instantly make your seating look tailored to the season. Pillows can also correct sofas that are too deep (and serve as floor seating in a pinch).

8) Your guests will likely gather in the living room with drinks they’ll need to set down, so make sure to put small end tables next to any seating that’s out of reach from the coffee table. If you don’t have any, check out these options at The Great American Home Store.

9) Rearrange your furniture with an open floor space in mind if you have to make room for a crowd. Also take this opportunity to declutter – gather up papers, books and magazines, etc. into storage containers.

10) Enhance the ambiance! Light a fire in the fireplace if you have one, and put some background music on to fill out any lulls in conversation (about 25% lower volume than normal speaking voices).


11) You likely won’t have time to give each guest a tour, so labeling the key rooms of your house can be extremely helpful. Purchase some blackboard signs and chalk from your local craft store and get creative! For example, prop a large one on your entry table that says “Welcome.” Then use smaller chalkboards with holes in the top for hanging (try using burlap rope or fabric ribbon) and label the doors to the coat closet and bathrooms.

12) A good rule of thumb for pre-party cleaning is to start from your entryway and follow the path that your guests are most likely to go (into the living room, through the kitchen, the bathrooms, etc.) But don’t stress too much at the last minute! Try to get the important things done in advance so you can relax and enjoy your guests when the time comes.

While we don’t have a tip to help you survive family drama, endless cooking, or any of the other glorious trials that go hand-in-hand with the holidays, we CAN wish you the best of luck and remind you that you’ll make it through. You’ll probably have a great time while you’re at it!